I can’t!

unhappy and confused smilie

I can’t! *

We most often hear that sentence from kids. They are still open enough to shout it out. As adults, we’ve learned to find excuses for not doing things that sound better, that hide our weaknesses.

I’ve seen it over and over on the web, and I’ve been told in person: “I can’t” only means “I don’t want to.” Personally, I think that’s a heartless blame game. Because I believe that “I can’t” means something else entirely. The sentence clearly expresses doubt in one’s own abilities. With luck, it’s a cry for help – that’s what most kids do. Can you hear that pleading in their voice? At the worst, that sentence is a sign of abyssmal resignation. In both cases, it definitely doesn’t help to guilt-trip that person by implying they are simply lacking willpower and it’s their own fault.

Instead, I believe that behind every “I can’t” you’ll find heaps of disappointment and hurt feelings. Just remember what small kids hear all the time: “No, you can’t do this, get out of my way!” How disappointed they are when they are prevented from testing their abilities and growing again and again? Small wonder they eventually give up and start believing they’ll never be able to do this or that. Giving up that struggle makes their lives easier and less stressful. And sadly, at the same time, the same life gets more dreary and unexciting.

This feeling of not being able to do something is a learned reaction. In reality, it isn’t even a feeling, it’s a belief: I, with my abilities and who I am, cannot do this. And I don’t even want to try because I’ll just be disappointed again.  That’s exactly what this belief is for – to prevent you from getting disappointed.

Fortunately, it is possible to change and shift such beliefs with EFT. Dig out something that you believe you’ll never be able to do – something that blocks you from growing in your business. Say out loud: “I CAN do this!” Measure how true this sentence feels for you, with a 0 = not true at all, and a 10 = yep, absolutely right. Since this is about things we cannot do, you’ll probably be close to a zero. Write down the number and get ready to tap:

KP: Even though I learned that I cannot do this and don’t even want to try one more time I’m okay the way I am and open to the possibility of learning something new after all.

Even though I learned I cannot do this and I’m afraid to try it again, I’m okay the way I am and open to the possiblity that it might be easier than I think.

Even though I simple CAN’T do this, I’m okay the way I am and open to the possibility of finding a solution after all.

IE: I can’t!
OE: I just can’t do this!
E: I just never could.
UN: And I never will.
CP: I can’t and I won’t.
CB: It’s too dangerous to even try.
UA: And I also know already that I can’t do this.
AW: Because I can’t!
Take a deep breath!

IE: I simply can’t do it.
OE: Of course, it might be nice to be able to do it.
E: And it might even be fun.
UN: But I just can’t.
CP: And I can’t learn it, either.
CB: Never in my life will I learn to do this.
UA: Or maybe I could?
AW: Nah, I can’t do it.
Take a deep breath!

IE: On the other hand … I did learn a lot in this life already.
OE: But not this. Instead, I learned that I cannot do it.
E: Teacher said so.
UN: Even mom said so.
CP: But … maybe I learned something wrong there?
CB: And maybe I’m old enough to learn it anyway now?
Maybe there is a way to try it safely.
AW: It might be fun to try it in a safe way.
Take a deep breath!

IE: Maybe I can learn this after all.
OE: No need to be perfect on my first try, either.
E: And I had to practice everything else I learned, too.
UN: I already learned a LOT in this life.
CP: Might be possible to learn this, as well.
CB: And it might even be fun!
UA: I can decide to give it a try.
AW: And then I’ll know more. And that feels good.
Take a deep breath!

Now say your sentence again. “I CAN do this!” Does it feel more true now? Most likely, but most likely it also still feels somewhat untrue. How about this sentence: “I can learn how to do it!” This sentence opens the door to a new life.

Go for it.

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*Author: Nicolas VIGNERON, Original at Wikimedia Commons

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